Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Decay of a bone or tooth, especially dental caries.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The progressive destruction of bone or tooth by decay

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Ulceration of bone; a process in which bone disintegrates and is carried away piecemeal, as distinguished from necrosis, in which it dies in masses.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A destructive disease of bone, causing a friable condition and worm-eaten appearance, attended with suppuration. It is probable that several distinct pathological processes lead to this morbid condition.
  • n. A disease of the teeth, resulting in the disintegration of their substance and the formation of cavities. In man and carnivorous animals it is supposed to be caused by one of the bacteria, Leptothrix buccalis. See Leptothrix.
  • n. In botany, decay of the walls of the cells and vessels.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. soft decayed area in a tooth; progressive decay can lead to the death of a tooth

Etymologies

Latin cariēs.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin caries. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • "The dentist and I sat in his dusty surgery under a diorama of curiously garish posters depicting dental caries."
    Psychogeography by Will Self, 93

    October 16, 2010

  • The singular of caries rhymes well with lots of other words... "Have at it", as my Father would say.

    September 29, 2009

  • Doggerel rots your teeth.

    September 29, 2009

  • God help me, but I can't stop!

    Lines composed while brushing and flossing

    If you should suffer from the caries,
    Which often times cause for despair is,
    Fear not for here in Buenos Aires,
    The quality of dental care is
    Very good, a thing that rare is
    But not down here in Buenos Aires
    The dentists, like benign tooth fairies
    Will save your teeth from Raton Perez.
    Cancel your trip to the Canaries!
    And come on down to Buenos Aires.

    September 29, 2009